Women-owned businesses is on the rise.

It is very inspiring to see the number of women that are starting their own companies growing in both Canada and the U.S.

According to the latest State of Women-owned Businesses report from American Express, in the U.S. 4 out of 10 businesses are now majority-owned, operated and controlled by women, according to the latest State of Women-owned Businesses report from American Express.

When you look at the numbers it is over 12 million companies owned by women.  What is even more amazing is that number is up 58 percent over the past 10 years as more and more women take the leap into entrepreneurism at a rate of 1,821 new women-owned businesses opened every day in the U.S. In contrast, when you look at the number of businesses with majority-male or shared ownership, those businesses grew 12 percent for the same period.

Although this does mark a major step forward for women entrepreneurs across the U.S., women-owned businesses continue to lag behind in other metrics, employing just 8 percent of the private sector workforce and contributing 4.3 percent of total revenues.  Meaning that most of these women-owned businesses have the owner as the sole employee of the company with revenues below $100,000, but these are still encouraging numbers and reason to celebrate.

In speaking with women business owners on this side of the boarder to get their feedback on these numbers I was encouraged at the responses. 

Most women I spoke with had the same advice:

  • Keep moving forward regardless of the obstacles, challenges or rejection.
  • Never stop learning from others and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Support your peers and pay it back.

Now of course there was a lot of talk around solid business plans and knowledge of your industry and customer, but I was encouraged at the willingness to share both their successes and failures or as it was phrased to me, learning opportunities, openly.

Women business owners might have a long way to go to match the results of the male counterparts but from where I see it, we are moving in the right direction.

By Calli Gregg